Modelling the dynamics of jiggers infestation: Insights from a theoretical model

N. Imbusi Matendechere, W. N. Mutuku, F. Nyabadza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Tungiasis is a parasitic skin disease caused by jiggers, also known as sand fleas. The disease predominantly affects impoverished populations living in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and South America. Mathematical models have been used for decades to inform public health policies and have been useful for the evaluation of control strategies and interventions. In this paper we consider a deterministic model with four compartments that represent the dynamics of the human population and a stage-structured model for the flea. The model equilibria are computed and stability analyses carried out based on the reproduction number R0. Sensitivity analysis is carried out on the model parameters and it is observed that the epidemic is driven by infested humans and the survival of the flea through its developmental stages. The model points to a focused control of the flea through larvicides and treatment of infested humans. The paper is concluded by discussing the public health implications of the mathematical results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-500
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Mathematical and Computational Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Jiggers
  • Reproduction number
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Simulations
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling the dynamics of jiggers infestation: Insights from a theoretical model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this